Page 1 | 06/14/2010 | Mizzou has mixed feelings about league news

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Tuesday, Jun 15, 2010

Posted on Mon, Jun. 14, 2010

Mizzou has mixed feelings about league news By MIKE DeARMOND The Kansas City Star Tommy Saunders’ initial reaction to word that the Big 12 Conference had new life was simplistic but expressive. “Wow!” said Saunders, a former wide receiver from Kearney who now plays for the U.S. national rugby team. Saunders knew immediately what some of the larger points were. No divisions in the new Big 12. Everybody plays everybody every season. No easy conference schedules. No excuses. “Every team plays every team to decide who is the best,” Saunders said. “That’s good for everybody.” That was not the view of every Missouri fan, many of whom dreamed of inclusion into the Big Ten Conference, which added Nebraska on Friday but will stay with 12 teams for now. “I wish they’d called their bluff,” said Drew Carver, a longtime Missouri fan living in Phoenix. Carver didn’t like what he heard about Texas, Texas A&M and Oklahoma receiving more in revenue sharing than Missouri and other Big 12 teams. “Nobody would sign something like that, would they?” Carver said. The details of a new television deal with Fox Sports Net are not known, but commissioner Dan Beebe said during the Big 12 meetings in Kansas City two weeks ago that his conference would be able to approach paying league members as much as $17 million annually — nearly twice as much as some members currently receive. There is speculation that Texas’ share could exceed $20 million and its own television network would bring in $3 million to $5 million more a year. It has been a whirlwind last week for Missouri, one that did not play out as school officials intended. Missouri anticipated receiving an invitation to join the Big Ten, but that conference added Nebraska on Friday and then put expansion on hold. Meanwhile, reports indicated Texas and four other schools might leave the conference and effectively end the Big 12. Suddenly, Missouri was one of the schools along with Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State and Baylor on the outside with no assurance it would be extended an invitation to join any major conference. That major conference wound up being the Big 12 minus Nebraska and Colorado, which kicked off conference realignment by accepting an offer from the Pacific-10 on Thursday. “We’re excited about the Big 12 Conference and for its continued growth,” MU athletic director Mike Alden said in a statement. “The University of Missouri has certainly prospered during its time in the Big 12, and we are looking forward to future opportunities in the years ahead.” To reach Mike DeArmond, call 816-234-4353 or send e-mail to © 2010 Kansas City Star and wire service sources. All Rights Reserved.

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Mizzou has mixed feelings about league news